Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

M855 Plot Thickens: Congressman Proposes Center-Fire Ammo Ban

Friday, March 20, 2015

M855 Plot Thickens:  Congressman Proposes Center-Fire Ammo Ban

You didn’t need a crystal ball to see this one coming. On Monday, a week after the BATFE withdrew its plan to ban M855 as “armor-piercing ammunition,” U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced that he intends to introduce legislation to “extend the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to include all bullets that can pierce body armor and be used in handguns.”

The reason you didn’t need a crystal ball is that gun control supporters have been pushing this idea for years. In the 1980s, after NBC-TV did an attack piece on bullets invented for law enforcement officers to shoot through walls and doors, disingenuously calling them “Cop Killer Bullets,” gun control supporters seized upon the term and proposed legislation to ban any bullet that could penetrate a soft protective vest.

Fortunately, the Departments of Justice and Treasury, along with the NRA, opposed the “performance-based” approach to defining “armor-piercing ammunition,” because it would have banned virtually all center-fire rifle ammunition and some center-fire handgun ammunition. Therefore, in 1986, Congress instead adopted a “construction-based” approach, defining bullets as “armor-piercing ammunition” based upon the metals from which they are made.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton and then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pushed for a performance-based bullet ban within terrorism legislation. A study released by the BATFE in April 1997, however, concluded “existing laws are working, no additional legislation regarding such laws is necessary.”

Now, the BATFE’s recent attempt to ban M855 has inspired gun control supporters to take another shot at a near-total center-fire bullet ban, and in the case of Rep. Israel, to do so without knowing the first thing about the subject. Israel says his bill is necessary “[b]ecause of significant developments in bullet propellants, coatings and materials, such as Teflon.”

To which we have to ask: Seriously, Teflon? The substance used to coat skillets and 1970s-era all-steel handgun bullets invented for law enforcement officers, so the bullets wouldn’t scratch the rifling of the officers’ handgun barrels? Teflon, which has nothing to do with whether a bullet can penetrate a protective vest? Teflon (speaking of Clinton), the substance said to cover dishonest, misbehaving public officials who nevertheless skirt scrutiny and accountability again and again?

As we have previously noted, in the 38 years that the FBI has reported the caliber of handguns used to kill law enforcement officers, no such crime has been committed with a handgun capable of firing M855 or any other .223 or 5.56mm cartridge.

Rep. Israel is right about one thing, however. He says that the 1986 law that the BATFE tried to twist in order to ban M855 “is outdated.” Indeed, it is, but not in the way that Israel imagines. The law should be amended to narrow BATFE’s discretion to ban ammunition. It should be understood to cover only such bullets as are designed for the express purpose of penetrating protective vests when loaded into pistol-caliber cartridges and fired from handguns. It should further exempt all bullets that are primarily intended for any legitimate purpose, including self-defense.

Rest assured we'll keep readers apprised of any new developments.  (Please see related story on federal legislation introduced to prevent the Obama Administration from banning ammunition.)

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Friday, January 19, 2018

Washington: Substitute Version of Gun Control Bill Passes House Committee

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed Substitute House Bill 1122 out of committee on a 7-6 vote.  This bill, which would require gun owners to lock up their firearms or potentially face criminal charges, will ...

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington: Trigger Modification Ban Passes Committee

Earlier today, the Washington state Senate Law & Justice Committee passed Senate Bill 5992 out of committee with a 4-3 vote. As drafted, this legislation has overreaching language that would ban modifications commonly made to ...

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Crossing the Line – Firearm Preemption Protection Under Attack

Gun control groups are fond of describing preemption as a doctrine whereby a state has stripped local governments of their power to regulate guns.

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

News  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Australia: Queensland’s Labor Party Government Targets MP for Gun Control Heresy

The sorry state of gun politics in Australia was put into stark relief recently, after Liberal National Party (LNP) Queensland Legislative Assembly MP Anthony Perrett took a principled stand in favor of his constituents’ gun rights.

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

Hunting  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Arizona: Signature Gathering Underway For Hunting Ban Initiative

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their front-group “Arizonans for Wildlife” are currently gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would ban the hunting and trapping of mountain lions and bobcats in ...

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Eighteen States, Law Enforcement, Doctors, and Firearm Rights Groups File Amicus Briefs in Lawsuit Challenging California 10+ Magazine Ban

On Friday, January 12, several amicus briefs were filed in the NRA and CRPA supported lawsuit challenging California’s restrictions against magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, challenges California’s ...

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Washington: House Judiciary to Hear Gun Control Bills

On Thursday, January 25th at 1:30PM, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear several sweeping gun control bills.  NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly encouraged to attend the committee hearing to voice your opposition ...

New Jersey:  2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

Friday, January 19, 2018

New Jersey: 2018 Brings Bigger Challenges for New Jersey Gun Owners

A new Governor took the reins from Gov. Chris Christie this week, and a new Legislature has been sworn into office. 

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

Hunting  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Indiana: Rifle Hunting Bill Passes Senate

On Thursday, January 18th, Senate Bill 20 passed the Indiana state Senate by a vote of 47-2 and will now move to the House.  

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hawaii: Trigger Modification Ban Introduced in the Senate

Today, Senator Karl Rhoads (D-13) introduced legislation that would ban modifications commonly made to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  SB 2046 is currently pending a committee referral.  Please contact your Senator today and urge them to OPPOSE this ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.